Winter 2017 Botanical Perfumes

As my busy and exciting semester of Library school, and work with museum artifacts, comes to a close, I’ve been grateful to spend some time with Arabesque. I’ve turned to perfume blending as a way of calming my thoughts, returning to my center, my senses, and my art. I’m really grateful to the Sacramento Maker’s Mart for giving me a little, and necessary, push in this direction. And I’ve enjoyed breathing life into some of my old scents, which feels like spending time with dear old friends.

Currently blending the following Arabesque scents, which will be available now through January 2018 (when I hope to launch my new web site!) Some of these will be featured at the December 2017 Makers Mart:

 

The Awakening, the botanical scent of which I feel most proud. Pictured above, this scent is one of my literary scents, inspired by the Kate Chopin novel and featuring seaweed inclusions collected on a beach on Malibu. A complex, unisex, warm, slightly sweet, earthy, powder scent with Patchouli and underlying spices and resins, and a unique top to middle note: the very precious white flower from Tasmania, called Boronia. $120.00 15 ml, $50.00 6 ml

 

Kyphi, probably the sweetheart of my aromatic oeuvre thus far. Inspired by the smell of the ancient, sacred, handmade incense from ancient Egypt (several ancient varieties exist, among them, Syria and Greece) the light, uplifting scent features notes of Cinnamon, Frankincense, Vanilla along with other exotic resins, woods and spices $110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

The Star Seller, a star-shaped flower for a star-shaped theme (pictured above.) This scent was inspired by a Donovan song called The Seller of Stars. Very sweet and magical, and somehow merged in my imagination while living in Nevada County, CA where I always appreciated the smoky, star-filled skies of winter, often going outside at night to take a peep, and a sniff. The perfume is a white flower blend, but is also grounded with Sandalwood and other subtle, earthy elements. Not too sweet, but distinctly feminine.

$110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

Merlin the Bard, the scent I often wear, and the most delightful of all perfume collections I have ever researched, Merlin the Bard comes from my Arthurian Scent Collection. Designed to represent the element of fire, this archetypal scent features Palo Santo, Tobacco, and other sacred botanical ingredients that recall earth as well as fire. $100.00 15 ml, $40.00 6 ml

 

The Green Mantle, the first perfume I ever made. Featuring an inclusion of Oak Moss, this classic, mossy green fougère was designed to be a unisex scent, and remains an Arabesque oldie-but-goodie. Another scent I wear myself! Wear/smell when your head is in the stars, and you wish to come back to Earth! $100.00 15 ml, $40.00 6 ml

 

 

The Man of the Woods, another literary scent and perhaps the most popular of my unisex scents. A soulful, wild perfume inspired by DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley stories, and also by DH Lawrence’s personal creed, which I find to be deep, as well as deeply gorgeous. Literary critics have surmised that Lawrence based the character of the Man of the Woods upon himself and, in my humble opinion, his personal creed certainly seems to reflect this.

“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”
–DH Lawrence.

The Man of the Woods is sexy, with warm vanilla notes and earthy resins like Cabrueva, Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Peru Balsam. $110.00 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

Drann, my Irish-inspired perfume, pictured above, is another unisex scent and features the essential oils from trees and botanicals that are considered sacred. Drann is a smooth, subtle, resinous, warm, unisex, meditative scent, featuring Oud, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Cistus, Lavender and Rosewood. The word ‘drann’ has its linguistic roots in early Northern European languages and the root of the word speaks of turning, twisting, weaving, and influencing via magic. (The same root is found in the old Irish word for Druid, Drai, wizard, Draoi, the Gaelic word for enchantment, Draoidheacht.) The Celtic spiral is a visual representation, a symbol, of this same magical meaning. (Celtic Knotwork and interlace is probably the most famous example of this.) A magical scent. $110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

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To order a handmade botanical perfume, please email arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com, and I will respond with a Paypal invoice. Perfumes ship insured Priority Mail with a 7-14 day turnaround. International shipping is also available.

 

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Arabesque Aroma’s New Fall/Winter 2017 Botanical Perfume & Anointing Oil~ The Wings of Isis

My Fall/Winter 2017 botanical scent was inspired by the mythology and symbolism of the ancient, beneficent Egyptian goddess, Isis. I was inspired by the beautiful, powerful wings with which she is sometimes depicted in ancient Egyptian art. She uses them to suggest blessings and protection; commonly with her beloved consort, Osiris.

Isis was a chthonic goddess, said to be so powerful and skilled in her magic that she brought Osiris back to life after his untimely death. Due to Isis’s connection to the mysteries of life, death, and rebirth, this Arabesque Aromas scent was designed to compliment the darker (but no less beautiful or magical) seasons of Autumn and Winter.

“The Wings of Isis” was blended with warm, sacred, uplifting essential oils including high-elevation Lavender (yes, pun intended) Cistus, Benzoin, Frankincense and other botanical infusions and resins. Whether worn as a simple perfume or used as an anointing oil when you are feeling low, “The Wings of Isis” was created to help nourish, soothe, and uplift the psyche.

“The Wings of Isis” is available to sample in 1 ml for $7.00, in the 6 ml anointing oil size for $40.00, or as a 15 ml botanical perfume in Arabesque Aroma’s minaret-style bottle for $120.00. Samples ship First Class Mail $3.50 Perfumes and Anointing Oils ship Priority Mail for $7.00 within the US.

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I have three pre-blended 6 ml botanical scents still available at the $25.00 sale price.
Perfume descriptions can be found here for the three scents The Green Mantle, The Man of the Woods, and Drann. My white flower Eau de Parfum “Serafina” has sold out but there is still one last 1 ml sample remaining. What a great sale! Thanks everyone!

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Samples of Arabesque Aroma’s three anointing oils, in keeping with the ongoing theme of ’emotional wellbeing’ are also available in a set which include 1 ml each of: the Magdalen Rose Anointing Oil for the (emotional) heart, The Song of Solomon featuring botanicals mentioned in the Songs (earthy/sensuous/romantic) and the Wings of Isis (uplifting/protective.) Makes a nice gift. Sampler is $21.00 plus $7.00 Priority shipping. Contact me for international shipping quotes.

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Please email me at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com to order sale items, the Anointing Oil Sampler, or “The Wings of Isis.”

Detail of A Character of Isis courtesy of The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

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Arabesque’s Etsy Shop is Closing but Arabesque Will Remain in Business…

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

As an art historian, as well as an artist, I’ve spent the past twenty or so years of my life researching the lives of the authors and artists of Modernist Europe, all of who were thriving before the idea of an internet was even remotely conceived. Their rich, varied, vibrant lives revealed the exciting, and endless possibilities to me in designing a creative life of my own.

And, despite managing to live a rather exciting early life, I have lately managed to get myself stuck in the too-formulaic formula ‘for being a successful internet artist’ that Etsy endlessly promotes…  A company, and a formula, that no longer truly serves me.

So, I have just closed my Etsy shop. However, my artisanal perfume business will not close. Instead, I am relocating my store to my own web site, currently ‘in the works!’

As always, if any of my clients would like something, please do not hesitate to email me at Arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com
I can easily create a Paypal invoice for you and business can, and is, still carrying on — as it has managed to do for many artists and writers for many centuries, and in a myriad of ways, before Etsy! And will continue to do so — post-Etsy.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to better honoring my own unique creativity. (And have I mentioned that I’m learning to belly-dance?!)

A big thank you to my new subscribers, and another thank you to everyone for your patience during this exciting transition of mine.

~Kirsten

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A Sultry Summer Sale…

I’m on my summer holiday! Let’s celebrate the dreamy weather, my blooming, fragrant garden, and the sweet luxury of having time to spare with — A Perfume Sale!

See details and coupon codes, below…

Use the coupon code SummerHoliday2017 to receive free Priority insured shipping (domestic/US parcels only, please!) on all anointing oils, scent samplersbotanical perfumes in the 6 ml Moroccan bottles, and the larger size in the Minaret perfume bottles, from now through July 5th in my Etsy shop. 

As a bonus, combine my ongoing 10% off gratitude coupon code ArabesqueAromas with this sale on Etsy and, until July 5th, you can also apply it to my cookbook, The Fragrant Kitchen: Culinary Recipes from a Botanical Perfumer. The hard copies have sold out, the cookbook is currently available in PDF format only, 4th edition. (And it was recently complimented by a professional dietician, which meant a lot to me!)

Convo me on Etsy, or email me at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com with any questions, custom listings, or requests. My Summer Sale ends on July 5th. Scent Subscriber Shipments, and further news, coming in the July blog/newsletter…

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Arabesque Aromas artisanal botanical perfumes, pictured above are, top: The Star Seller, left: Veriditas, and right: Drann. Photography by Arabesque Aromas.

 

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Introducing Arabesque’s Summer 2016 Scent~ Armoise

armoise1

My Summer 2016 scent “Armoise” is named for the perfume’s main ingredient, Mugwort, or Artemisia herba-alba. “Armoise” is inspired by the Artemisia family of herbs and their connection to the goddess Artemis. The perfume is composed of a variety of fresh, almost fruity, green florals like Tuberose, resting atop the exotic green notes of the organic, Moroccan Armoise, built on top of an even greener layer of earthy, heady base notes in an organic Jojoba oil. It can be sampled in 1 ml vials, here, or purchased in the 1/2 oz. size here.

The photo above is of a nook in one of my container gardens.
Pictured behind the Nasturtiums, and next to the Bergamot, is an Artemis tile that was gifted to me by my mom, who taught me how to garden. If you look to the left of Artemis’s face you can see one of her main identifying symbols, the moon. Despite the elements, and the seasons, I always keep this plaque outside in my herb garden, where ever I happen to be living, in honor of the feminine principle. Many of the plants in my garden were grown from seeds or cuttings given to me by female friends, too. Several of the plants in the Artemisia family have a very old connection to women’s bodies and women’s health. The Goddess Artemis was once thought to preside over childbirth and her symbol, the moon, is synonymous with women’s reproductive cycles.

My favorite Artemisia herb to cook with is Tarragon.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about the folklore and the benefits of the Artemisia family, here is an Herbal Fact Sheet from the Herbal Society of America.

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Tristan & Iseult

Tristan and Isolde 15th c

Introducing Arabesque Aroma’s
Spring 2016 Scent~

Tristan & Iseult

Apart the lovers could neither live nor die, for it was life and death together.
-Joseph Bedier, The Romance of Tristan & Iseult

A soft, dreamy, calming, velvety unisex scent made primarily of Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile, Moroccan Rose, and a precious, smooth vintage Lavender, “Tristan & Iseult” is available to sample, purchase in 3 ml, or my 10 ml minaret-capped bottles.

A story of courtly love, the romance of Tristan & Iseult gained popularity within Arthurian literature and is a subject that many writers, artists, and musicians from the medieval era onward have explored, depicted, and interpreted. There are many versions of the story, and its evolution over time can be read about here.

I’ve also included a link to a PDF of the full story via Project Gutenberg’s version by M. Joseph Bedier as quoted above; The Romance of Tristan & Iseult is available, here.

In particular, and for obvious reasons, Tristan and Iseult was a greatly-favored topic among the troubadours. Here is a link to one of my personal favorite songs from this era, circa 13th century, The Lament of Tristan, from the cd “Trouveres & Troubadours” by Jehan de Cheney. (I’ve shared this before but it is so good I think it bears repeating!)

Arabesque’s “Tristan & Iseult” botanical perfumes will ship within 1-2 weeks of purchase.
And my esteemed and greatly valued Arabesque Subscribers will automatically receive their samples, along with Vetiver hydrosols, in the first shipment by the end of March.

Have a wonderful, romantic, and magical Spring, everyone!
~Kirsten

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Featured Image: Tristan and Iseult Drink the Love Potion, “Tristan de Leonois” c.1470. Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

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Arabesque’s 2016 Botanical Scent Subscription

Queen of Hungary water clear pic

Arabesque’s 2016 Botanical Scent Subscription:
Featuring 6 seasonal parcels to delight your senses!

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

Happy New Year!

With all 2015 Arabesque orders shipped, and all 2015 homework long since submitted, I have been musing over the New Year with a cat on my lap as life slows to a softer, sweeter pace. I have been enjoying the parcels of treats and goodies that have been arriving in my post office box, too! These festive trips to and from the post office make me think, invariably, of my business, and what my clients might like to find in their mailboxes from Arabesque Aromas in the coming year.

So, for 2016, I have designed what I hope you will think is a sumptuous subscription, indeed!

Here is the 2016 Botanical Subscriber’s Shipping Schedule:

 

Late Spring:
(1) 2-oz fresh-distilled Vetiver Root hydrosol

MidSummer:
(1) parcel of sacred, handmade Rose Petal botanical incense

Early Autumn:
(1) 2-oz organic handmade Moroccan-inspired spice blend for cooking
(1) 2-oz organic handmade herbal salt blend for cooking

Early Winter:
(1) 2-oz botanical, seasonal, handmade Rosehip and orange peel potpourri

PLUS three perfumed ingredients:
Two samples of my new, yet-to-be-born botanical perfumes of 2016
and (1) 3-ml bottle of an Arabesque botanical perfume of your choosing whenever you request it during 2016.

Arabesque’s Botanical Scent Subscription includes Priority postage, insured, within the US. $125.00/year

 

Become a Subscriber here.

calendula petals

above: organic, edible Calendula petals, harvested from my garden, 2015.

And top photo, 2004, from a maceration of the wonderous 14th century Queen of Hungary Water, made with fresh, personally-harvested, fragrant botanical ingredients. I used Rosemary Gladstar’s variation.

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Midwinter Tidings!

trier

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ARABESQUE! 

December News:

~Two bars of Rebecca’s delicious, handmade soap in The Holly, Moss, and Ivy scent remain. And fresh, complimentary batches of The Holly, Moss, and Ivy, The Awakening, and The Thousand and One Nights botanical perfume await you.

~My themed Scent Samplers make pretty nifty gifties, and can be sent directly to the recipient. I hand-write gift cards upon request and am always delighted to play the role of Secret Santa whenever required!

~Several hardbound copies of my cookbook remain.

~I am feeling excited to make my end-of-year donation to my non-profit of choice for 2015, Bird Note. Here is a link to their Bird-themed Christmas Carol, from last year. (My cats are huge fans of this song. Usually they prefer that I play it with the windows open, at least five times in a row, while they gaze outside, and drool, and dream… )

~In the above photo, from May 2011, I am lighting a candle at the 12th century St. Peter’s Dom in Trier, Germany with my dear pal Brandi. School is finished for 2015, and now I am just intent in keeping my own metaphorical candles lit in my small corner of the world. Despite the news outlets and social media, I am keeping an eye on what is dear, and sacred in my life…. and am wishing the same for you!

ks trier

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A Succulent September

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

 

chopin

 

The Awakening botanical perfume

“She reminded him of some beautiful, sleek animal waking up in the sun.”

― Kate Chopin, The Awakening

Now ready to ship! My favorite Arabesque Aromas perfume ever returns as my Fall 2015 scent.
“The Awakening” is a fresh, complex, green, blooming scent inspired by the also-blooming main character, Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening published in 1899. A tragic yet beautiful story very much ahead of its time.

The main perfume ingredient in “The Awakening” botanical perfume is the deliciously complex and deliciously green Tasmanian flower, Boronia. Though initially created as a Summer perfume in 2012, I discovered that “The Awakening” is spicy and deep enough to carry it’s wearer into Autumn and Winter quite nicely. It is also a unisex scent.

The blend contains the essential oils of Peru Balsam, Patchouli, Black Pepper, and Boronia. Each bottle contains a small piece of seaweed, harvested myself in Malibu, CA. Seaweed seemed an appropriate symbol for Edna’s oceanic, feminine, inner life…

The perfume is available in 1 ml sample sizes, 3 ml bottles, or 1/3 oz. in my signature minaret-style bottle.

A wonderful website devoted to the work of Kate Chopin can be found here.

 

k and s and a

 

Sasha of Astral Boutique came for a visit. She brought me a fragrant armful of peaches from her tree, snapped some cute photos of us, and we cooked a fantastic dinner together. Pictured on my lap is the ranch darling, overall star of the show (AND Winnifred Kitten’s best friend) Amelia.

Where would we be without our friends?!

soap!

Available while supplies last… 

And speaking of friends… This handmade soap, made by my friend Rebecca, was specifically formulated for use in concert with Arabesque’s “Alexandria” botanical perfume. A customer favorite, “Alexandria” is a fiery, sensuous botanical scent featuring pure Rose and Cinnamon essential oil; two precious perfume ingredients that were highly regarded by the ancient Egyptians. The combination will strengthen, layer and extend the lasting power of the “Alexandria” scent on your skin. This soap can also be used in concert with my Fall 2014 scent, “Virelai.” Soap designed and created exclusively for Arabesque Aromas by the exquisite Ballerina Farmer Artisan Aromatherapy.

figgylicious

My Black Jack Fig Tree — fig season is one of many reasons that September is my most favorite time of year! 

D ackerman post and medieval pic.

And introducing

The Circle of Melissae:
A Virtual Circle and Online Community for
Kitchen Witches, Cat Ladies, and Other Like-minded Souls, we are…

 

 Inspired by the magical turnings, cycles, and rhythms of the year.
In love with honeybees and their ancient symbolism of divinity and divine messages.
Intrigued by bats, birds, and the animal kingdom.
Smitten equally with the celestial, and the terrestrial.
With plants, flowers, minerals.
With the elements. The seasons.
With trees and their folklore…
Concerned with the artisanal. The creative. The handmade life.
And always aspiring to purity, beauty, love, kinship, community,
and the heartfelt path.

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Annual Membership Subscription is $60.00
Inquire further at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com.

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Introducing Arabesque’s Summer 2015 Scent~ The Thousand and One Nights!

1001 nights

When I was researching One Thousand and One Nights I learned that the earliest version was written in Persia in the 10th century — I had had no idea it was that old! Many versions and translations now exist today, some emphasizing the fantastical and adventure aspects of the stories, other emphasizing the more erotic and romantic aspects. Here are two audio clips from the latter camp. Both verses come from Book Three and this specific translation is by E. Powys Mathers, published privately in London, 1923. The first is Musk Kisses, though I quite liked There is Myrrh too. (I suspect that there are many exotic perfume ‘recipes’ hidden within the pages of this vast story!)

I chose to avoid using the more predictable ‘Eastern’ perfumery ingredients such as Jasmine, Neroli, Oud, and Sandalwood when creating this perfume. Instead, “The Thousand and One Nights” botanical perfume smells like inhaling the fragrance of a wonderful, dark, beautifully-carved wooden spice chest — it is a sultry, spicy, unisex botanical perfume made with Patchouli, Clove, Cinnamon, Sweet Orange, Madagascar Ginger and Ambrette Seed essential oils in an Organic Jojoba oil base.

And speaking of musk kisses, the scent of Ambrette Seed, which comes from India, is often described as ‘musky’ and personally, I can’t get enough of it these days! I distilled some Ambrette Seed this summer and the hydrosol, when used as a body spray, makes a very nice compliment to the botanical perfume. Note that the Summer 2015 Ambrette Seed hydrosol is quite a limited edition batch, available only while supplies last!

1 ml samples, 3 ml bottles, and 1/2 oz. minaret bottles of “The Thousand and One Nights” botanical perfume are available in my Etsy shop.

And in honor of the clever storyteller Sheherazade from One Thousand and Nights, I’ll close with a wonderful Brainpickings link to a talk that author Neil Gaiman did on the organic, living and evolving nature of stories called “How Stories Last.” It is just wonderful.
I think Sheherazade would agree.

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